740.5/6–2151: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France 1

top secret

6988. Now Fr elections held,2 we must move without further delay on question Ger participation in def of West. First task is to take [Page 787] action on report resulting from mil talks, in Bonn between reps occupying powers and FedRep.3 This requires initially tech consideration of report from mil point of view with object securing agreement on mil plane between US, UK and Fr which, in their capacity of occupying powers, have been acting as agents of NATO under NAC decision taken at Brussels in Dec 19504 and have been exploring with Gers their concept of suitable Ger contribution. While final agreement with Ger on this subj undoubtedly will require simultaneous agreement on polit plane re contractual relations, work must proceed simultaneously in polit and mil fields to avoid further loss of time.

At best, in mil field, we wld hope for agreement on mil proposals between occupying powers subsequently agreed more or less informally by Gers, depending on how different from their proposals, and then presented to NAC for approval and action on any changes from Brussels principles. However, it is realized that serious difficulties may be encountered with Fr and, shld US, UK and Fr agreement seem impossible as to action on Bonn report, we cld not exclude possible desirability of referring Bonn report to NAC without tripartite agreement. In latter case, it wld be necessary for Council subsequently instruct occupying powers further to consult with FedRep on basis of Council’s decision. Final approval wld be required from Council. We hope this more complicated and time consuming procedure will be avoided through development agreed recommendations by UK, US and Fr to CD.

We have no illusion as to possibility coming to agreement with Fr on Bonn report on tech mil plane alone. Instead, we realize Fr mil rep wld wish refer certain aspects Bonn report to his Govt for polit decisions and discussions with US and UK at govt level. Thus, we envisage report to govts from mil reps embodying both points agreed from mil point of view and those which it was impossible to solve at mil level. These mil talks wld be followed by govt exchanges with view drafting common answer to Gers which, when agreed by them, wld become quadripartite proposal for submission to NAC.

We fully realize no agreement can be reached with Fr unless results Paris conference on Eur Army have received full consideration in connection with Ger mil contribution in gen and Bonn report in particular. Problem is therefore, where, how and principally when findings of Paris conference can be introduced into study of Ger contribution.

With above in mind, you are requested present Aide-Mémoire along fol lines to Fr Govt:

“US Govt has received report of Allied High Commissioners of their conversations with reps of West Ger Fed Govt, on question of Ger [Page 788] participation in def of Western Eur. In furtherance of decisions of Brussels session of NAC in Dec 1950, US Govt attaches greatest importance to early consideration of this report by three Allied Occupying Powers in their role as agents of NATO.

“In interest of reaching early agreement on this important problem US invites reps of Fr and Brit Govts to confer with US in Wash, concerning mil aspects of contribution of Ger to defenses of Western Eur. These reps wld consider report of High Commissioners, and related matters, and reach such agreement as is possible on acceptability of mil aspects. Reps wld then report their findings to their respective Govts.

“US proposes that natl reps be those individuals now appointed to SG as mil reps of Chiefs of Staff of Occupying Powers, in capacity distinct from that of members of SG. Upon receipt of appropriate instrs from their govts these reps wld confer with objective of composing their respective views. Any matters upon which reps did not agree or any matters which they consider wld be beyond competence of Occupying Powers under provisions of NATO doc C6–D/1, or primarily non-mil matters, wld be duly set forth for res on governmental level. Their report of matters which they consider to be beyond competence of Occupying Powers wld include their recommendations as to what position three govts shld take on these matters. Fol conclusion of discussions, and not until then, three govts wld decide as to course of action to be taken within NATO.

“US is of opinion that discussions currently proceeding in Paris on proposal by Fr Govt for formation of Eur Army have proceeded to point where consideration of Ger contribution to Eur Army is pertinent to consultations suggested above. US wld therefore be prepared to consider any suggestion by Fr Govt to enlarge conversations to include discussion of relationship between proposed Eur Army and rearmament of Ger as specified in doc C6–D/1. Since procedures of three Occupying Powers as agents of NATO on rearmament of Ger will be duly reported to NATO, US suggests that it wld be appropriate to consider report as agreed by participants of Paris conference, which itself is to be reported to NAC.

“US considers it of importance that an early report on status of rearmament of Ger be made to NAC. Therefore, above conversations shld begin in early Jul 1951, and reps shld complete their report to their respective govts during Jul. It shld be objective of respective govts to confer on report of their mil reps and agree as to future course of action not later than Aug 15, 1951. US Govt perceives that undue delay on this important practical matter wld cause serious doubts as to seriousness of purpose of NATO nations to proceed in most expeditious manner for creation of an adequate defense of Western Eur.

“US Govt wishes inform your Govt that if alternative methods of conducting above mil conversations appear desirable it wld be pleased to consider your suggestions. It does, however, wish to point out competence of natl reps to SG for these discussions and their established relations with their Chiefs of Staff.”5

[Page 789]

FYI only Gen Ely, Fr rep, indicates that he cannot agree to above procedure unless specifically so instructed by his govt. He has informed Gen Bradley that he wld prefer that this procedure be arranged through govts by FonOff representation. Gen Ely is in complete agreement with suggested procedure but does not feel he is in position at moment to so recommend to his Govt.

  1. This telegram was repeated for information to Ambassadors Gilford and Spofford in London and to General Hays in Frankfurt. It was drafted by Ridgway B. Knight, Officer in Charge of Political-Military Affairs in the Office of European Regional Affairs, and was concurred in by the Bureaus of European and German Affairs and by the Department of Defense.
  2. For documentation on the French national elections of June 17, see volume iv.
  3. For the report of June 8 by the Allied High Commissioners for Germany on the meetings under reference here, see p. 1044.
  4. Regarding the decision under reference here, set forth in NATO document C6–D/1, December 13, 1950, see document Pleven D–2/1a, January 26, and footnote 7, thereto, p. 755.
  5. Telegram 8043, June 23, from Paris, reported that the Embassy had that day delivered to the French Foreign Ministry an aide-mémoire along the lines instructed here (740.5/6–2351).